For the last decade, the perception of James Cameron’s Avatar has changed significantly, with the blockbuster sci-fi seemingly following the Forrest Gump route of becoming less and less popular as time goes on, to the extent that a lot of people are equal parts skeptical and critical of the filmmaker’s decision to dedicate what will most likely be the rest of his career to Pandora.
And yet, Cameron has spent the better part of 40 years laughing squarely in the face of his doubters while consistently proving them wrong, with upcoming second chapter The Way of Water poised to do it all over again. It’s been a long time coming, 13 years in fact, but the first teaser trailer has pulled in viewership numbers that would be the envy of any other property in the industry.
After being uploaded following an exclusive theatrical rollout at the weekend attached to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the maiden footage for Avatar: The Way of Water notched up over 148 million views in a single day.
Interestingly, over 23 million of them came from China, which likely ensures Disney will make a huge push to have The Way of Water released in the country. After all, it was the Chinese re-release which pushed the opener back above Avengers: Endgame to reclaim the title of highest-grossing film in the history of cinema, so you’d expect Cameron wouldn’t settle for anything less than taking top spot on the historical charts for an unprecedented third time this December.